Alcohol and Pot Have Longitudinal Effects on Students’ Performance, Says Study

Drug abuse has been a growing concern for the United States. The heroin and opioid epidemic is affecting people from diverse backgrounds and age groups. Over the past several years, a lot of children and teenagers were getting hooked on illegal substances, which is posing a great hazard to their developing brains. Sadly, drugs hurt not only those who abuse them, but also people close to them.

When it comes to young adults, drug addiction can wreak havoc on their overall physical and mental wellbeing. In the United States, alcohol and marijuana are two of the most abused substances, especially among teenagers. According to a recent study published in the open-access journal “Plos One,” consumption of medium-to-high levels of alcohol and marijuana leads to a consistently lower grade point average (GPA) among the college students.

Alcohol, marijuana behind higher college dropouts

It is known that an addiction to any substance may lead to severe effects on a child’s academic performance. In the present study, the researchers focused on the combining effects of both alcohol and marijuana – a concept that has largely remained unexplored by the scientists. Lead author Shashwath Meda, Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living, USA, along with his colleagues, evaluated the association between alcohol and marijuana consumption in college students and their GPA score in each semester.

To conduct the study, the researchers used self-reported data from the longitudinal study titled, “Brain and Alcohol Research in College Students.” They focused on 1,142 students, who were tracked for two years on semester-to-semester basis. The participants were then clustered into groups comprising low users or medium-to-high users of alcohol or both substances.

It was found that the students who were medium-to-high users of both substances had a lower predicted college GPA by the end of the first semester, and they also continued to achieve lower GPAs throughout the two years of the study. However, no differences were recorded in their pre-college scholastic aptitude test (SAT) scores.

Similarly, the consumption of medium-to-high levels of alcohol and little marijuana led to lower predicted GPA, although no differences were noted in the GPA scores of low alcohol users. Interestingly, those students who decreased their substance use over time witnessed an increase in their overall GPA scores, as compared to their peers who remained consistent in their drug use patterns.

Doing a lot of both drugs had a significant impact, in terms of lower grades in our study, and in other studies, with number of leaves of absences and those who dropped out of school,” said Godfrey Pearlson, senior author of the study.

Recovery road map

Even if one develops the habit of abusing marijuana or alcohol, seeking medical help in time can protect him/her from adverse effects. The first step to addiction treatment is detoxification. It helps to cleanse the body of accumulated toxins, resulting from this habit.

Sovereign Detox Services has varied treatment options, which can work well to turn around an addiction patient’s life for the better. Our detox and rehab centers offer detoxification programs and addiction treatment to help patients recover fully. Our recovery management programs help the patient remain sober throughout his or her life.

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